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Sunday 22 April 2018

TD says he would be earning more if he’d remained a GP

I'd earn more if I was still a GP, says €87k-a-year TD

Liam Twomey: addressed GPs. Photo: Tom Burke
Liam Twomey: addressed GPs. Photo: Tom Burke

Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent

FINE Gael TD Liam Twomey, who has an €87,000-a-year salary, said he would be earning more if he had remained a full-time GP.

The doctor, whose wife Elizabeth still runs their surgery in Wexford, drew an angry response when he addressed a gathering of hundreds of GPs who met in Dublin on Wednesday night.

They met in protest at funding cuts, which they claim is leaving growing numbers on the brink of insolvency.

He told the doctors they would be better off getting into talks on a new contract for medical card patients – even though they are excluded from negotiating fees.

Earlier, Dr Ciara Kelly, RTE's 'Operation Transformation' GP, who practises in Greystones in Wicklow, said her income from medicine fell so much last year she fell into mortgage arrears.

Mr Twomey told the Irish Independent yesterday that he stood over his call to fellow GPs to enter talks, saying there is little more to be gained from holding meetings around the country with just "tea and sympathy" on offer.

"There has been a reduction in income for general practice. My wife and a locum now operate the practice. We have cut our costs and that is how we have tried to maintain our income.

"If I was a full-time GP I would be better off than being a politician. If I was working at the same level that I am working as a politician I would definitely be better off," he added.

Before the cuts of around 38pc in fees to GPs for medical card work there would have been a huge difference in his income.

Irish Independent

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